Longwood University has named W. Taylor Reveley IV as its new president, for a term to begin June 1 and run through at least 2018. The Longwood Board of Visitors voted unanimously today, Saturday, March 23, following a nine-month national search.
Reveley is currently the managing director of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, a nonpartisan institute focused on the U.S. presidency, policy and political history. Through strategic focus during Reveley’s tenure, the Miller Center has become a key element of U.Va.’s academic work and public engagement and an increasingly prominent institution nationwide. The Miller Center’s faculty teaches almost 1,000 U.Va. students annually and includes a Pulitzer Prize winner and two winners of the Bancroft Prize, the most distinguished award in the field of U.S. history. Supported by an endowment of $65 million, the Miller Center has conducted the official oral history of each U.S. presidential administration over the past four decades and also engaged in significant broadcast partnerships with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and ABC News. Gerald L. Baliles, former governor of Virginia, is the director and CEO of the Miller Center, which recently completed a $45 million comprehensive capital campaign.
Marianne Radcliff, rector of Longwood University’s Board of Visitors, said, "Taylor has a rare record of accomplishment and powerful range of experience, in academia and more broadly. He deeply understands all of the facets, demands and constituencies of the life of a university, and will work so well with our faculty, staff, alumni and board in leading Longwood and doing what Longwood does best—transforming the lives of our students."
Reveley said, "Longwood has been a key part of my family’s life for generations. My grandmother, her sisters and her mother were all graduates of Longwood, and her father taught biology at Longwood. I am honored, and humbled, to lead this storied university, which has such tremendous opportunities ahead, always focused on the vital work of educating citizen leaders for our future—Longwood’s wonderful students. One of America’s oldest public universities has a special duty to meet the challenges we face in Virginia and the nation."
Founded in 1839 and located in Farmville, Va., Longwood University is among the hundred oldest colleges and universities in America, and is Virginia’s third-oldest public university, after the College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia. It is a liberal arts university dedicated to the development of citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to the common good of society, and today has more than 4,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Longwood is organized into five colleges: the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Education and Human Services, the Cormier Honors College, and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Longwood’s athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level, and the university is a member of the Big South Conference.
Reveley previously served as the coordinating attorney for the National War Powers Commission, which was co-chaired by U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher. Reveley has also served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of Virginia Intermont College, founded in 1884, a private liberal arts college in Bristol, Va., that is known for its nationally ranked photography and equestrian programs, as well as a strong focus on the arts and the education of first generation college students. He has likewise served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Princeton University Alumni Council.
Gerald Baliles, former governor of Virginia and director and CEO of the Miller Center, said, "Taylor is a leader with vision and drive. It is a great day for higher education—in Virginia and beyond—to have him in the ranks of college and university presidents, and it is a truly great day for Longwood."
Reveley’s father, W. Taylor Reveley III, is the president of the College of William & Mary. His grandfather, W. Taylor Reveley II, served as the president of Hampden-Sydney College from 1963 to 1977.
Jane Maddux, chair of Longwood University’s Presidential Search Committee, said, "In the many careful months of this search, Taylor’s personal qualities and his qualities as a leader shone through strongly, as did his passion for liberal arts education in preparation for professional life and engaged citizenship. We are thrilled he is Longwood’s next president." Stephen Portch, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia, and Deno Curris, former president of Clemson University, served as consultants to the university for the search process.
Larissa Fergeson, chair of the Longwood University Faculty Senate, said, "Taylor knows the rhythms and traditions of academia so well, and also knows the importance of an innovative spirit as the pace of change accelerates for the country, here in Virginia and globally."
Brian Reid, the student representative on the search committee and vice president of Longwood’s Student Government Association, described Reveley as "a distinguished and proven leader who is a natural with students. He truly understands the issues of the 21st century student—everything from academic programming, to social media, to student debt. Students who met Taylor took to him immediately because of his humble and genuine personality. I’m thrilled that we’ve selected a leader who will strive to improve student life and continue the traditions of one of the nation's oldest public institutions."
As a business attorney at Hunton & Williams before joining the faculty of U.Va. with the Miller Center, Reveley engaged in mergers, acquisitions and financings totaling $1.6billion for both public and private entities. Additionally, he represented the Harvest Foundation in its work to begin a new baccalaureate public initiative in Southside Virginia, by means of a $50 million challenge grant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, an effort that resulted in the founding of the New College Institute in Martinsville.
Reveley graduated with honors from Princeton University, where he majored in classics. He received a master’s degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary and his law degree from the University of Virginia. His wife, Marlo, is a vice president with Allianz Global Assistance, and they have two children.
Radcliff added, "As we look toward the future, we want to be mindful of our recent and ongoing accomplishments. As a university community, we are enormously appreciative of Marge Connelly’s service to Longwood, first as rector of the board and over the current academic year as interim president. She leaves Longwood in great shape for the new president."